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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

have you changed your approach to risk?

I think that like many others I have relaxed the levels of risk I am prepared to face from the paranoia of the first few months. Up to early July we never really went out of the house, all deliveries were left on the doorstep, we did not open anything for at least 24 hours and then mostly used plastic gloves and always washed our hands after. Our daughter was very conscientious and was our front line, with her going to the supermarket when it was still nearly impossible to get deliveries. Then we just ordered everything on line - and despite my hatred of Amazon and their tax avoidance and treatment of staff - we like most everyone used them more and more.

Our consumption of food and drink at home went up as did the amount of time we spent ( on different devices in different rooms often) watching TV, Netflix and the rest.

I became like so many expert at using zoom and even other virtual programmes, rediscovering skype, and whatsapp, on occasion microsoft teams, to such a degree that I even now can host and chair online zoom chats. So while virtual life grew the real interactions stopped. Apart from my wife, daughter and her boyfriend there was no interaction for months - my daughter working in the NHS and living a few miles away never got nearer that 2 meters even when picking up the dog - who, poor thing was then washed every hand over, which she hated.

However when Cummings was caught out breaking the rules, refusing to apologise and he got away with it and more stories came out about how the rich and powerful were getting away with abusing the rules, then things started to change and it seemed the dam broke.

Even so we kept on protecting ourselves and others with masks, social distancing and regular sanitiser spraying and hand watching.

Luckily for us we live in a small town which is very close to both forests, fields and rivers, plus we have a dog so we were at least able to go for walk every day and enjoy life outside, . Our small garden became an extension of the house and our decking used as an outside dining area. But there was no physical contacts and I got very angry if people did not respect the 2 meter rule.

By the start if July though things became more relaxed as the government started to relax regulations , so we could meet up with a few friends in the open air and even go to the chemists or the doctor for a prescription and even the dentist - again with everyone masked up, but not the pub or restaurants- but risking some take aways - which before we did not trust.

before the end of July we had held a socially distanced birthday party in the middle of the woods for about a dozen family and friends which was a safe breakthrough on the paranoia stakes

After we drove down to the wooded hills of France we got to a different world - where COVID had not really impacted - so hardly any mask wearing even in the town market but everyone follows the rules in the supermarkets - with masks worn and sanitisers freely available. However while the country folk had avoided any deaths and only a few cases there was a massive influx of tourists - British, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and probably worst those from Paris and the big cities. So not really surprising that the cases have started to rise incrementally especially considering they have let the tour de france go on as normal and you can kiss goodbye to social distancing there. There are now 8- 9000 cases a day in France - bti so far not in the countryside. The death rate is very low - but is in my opinion likely to rise. So the risks are still here, we are still masked up and socially distancing and requesting everyone who comes in the house wears masks plus keep on washing our hands but somehow the level of risk we can now live with seems to have gone up. I just hope that we don't all regret it if we get a brutal second wave

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